Pandaw River Cruises
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Luxury small ship river cruises in Asia
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DISCOVER THE BEST OF NORTHERN VIETNAM

HALONG BAY AND RED RIVER

10 NIGHTS FROM US$3,384.00
SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

On a Pandaw ship travellers are able to explore the key sites of Northern Vietnam by river ship traversing the Red River delta and its main tributaries, connecting the wonders of Halong Bay with the excitements of downtown Hanoi, and then on into the interior, well off the beaten track. This is a combination of scenic beauty, lively and interesting (sometimes industrial) life of the river and exploring rivers where no other tourist craft operate.

Sailing deep into Highland Vietnam we will discover the mountain villages and a number of tribal areas. We will go as far as is navigable up the Song Red River and then down the little known Da or Black River. Note that this is a real river expedition and itineraries and schedules very much subject to change due to uncertain local conditions.

CHECK AVAILABILITY & BOOK ONLINE

or call TOLL FREE 1-877-872-6329
represented by Sayang Holidays
10 NIGHTS FROM US$3,384.00
SAVE UP TO 10% AND NO SINGLE SUPPLEMENT ON SELECTED DATES

Save up to 10% and No Single Supplement on selected dates

IMAGES

EXPEDITION MAP

YOUR SHIP

OPTIONAL EXTENSIONS

PRE CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Pre Tour Hanoi (Sofitel Legend Metropole)

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Pre Tour Hanoi (Silk Path Boutique)

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4 Night Hue & Hoi An Pre Tour

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POST CRUISE EXTENSIONS

Sapa & Hanoi 4 Night Post Tour

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4 Night Hue & Hoi An Post Tour

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OPTIONAL PACKAGE ADDONS

Private Dining

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Pre-Bookable House Wine Package

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Free Flow Drinks

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Free Flow Drinks & Wine Package

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ITINERARY

Upstream      Downstream

DAY 1 HALONG BAY

Transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay to embark your Pandaw ship followed by lunch on board. Cast off in the afternoon with a welcome cocktail for an evening sail, dropping anchor in a sheltered bay amidst the beautiful island scenery.

More about Halong Bay
Halong Bay
Halong Bay

DAY 2 HALONG BAY

Morning sail around Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years.

Stop at Viet Hai Village and explore on mountain bike or electric buggy, visiting the village’s vegetable farm and typical village houses. It is a breath-taking trip along a small road winding its way through the limestone rocks.

More about Lan Ha Bay

DAY 3 HALONG BAY

Exploration of Halong Bay continues with a visit to the so called “Dark and Bright Cave”. Take a kayak or a local basket boat rowed by fishermen and enter this remarkable cave into an enclosed area similar to a crater. Bats can be heard in the cave and massive stalagmites hang from the ceiling.

More about Halong Bay
Halong Bay
Halong Bay

DAY 4 THE KINH THAY RIVER

Observe the lively and interesting life of the KinhThay river, a key commercial waterway.

Meet your guide in the dining room for a lecture on Vietnam, its history, geography and the boat people.

More about Thanh Ha and Water Puppets

DAY 5 BAT TRANG VILLAGE

The day is spent cruising towards Hanoi. Enroute, stop at Bat Trang in the afternoon, a ceramic village. On the way back to the ship watch a traditional unicorn and lion dance at the jetty.

This dance originated in China and spread over Southeast Asia.

More about Bat Trang
Bat Trang village
Bat Trang village

DAY 6 HANOI

Drop anchor in the capital and bustling city of Hanoi to visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis. Must-sees include the notorious Vietnam War prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking, and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.

More about Hanoi

DAY 7 THE LOWER RED RIVER

Morning sail through the day from Hanoi up the Red River to Viet Tri - not the most picturesque of towns, but an excellent base for going deeper into Highland Vietnam.

Go ashore to visit a timeless Arcadian Vietnam with emerald green rice paddies punctuated by limestone rock formations. Of particular interest are the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas.

More about Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas
The Lower Red River
The Lower Red River

DAY 8 LO RIVER

In the morning cruising to Tien Du ferry station to the village of Gia Thanh, makers of the conical hats (known as ‘non la’). Take in the sights and sounds of the bustling river with all kinds of craft and activity.

More about Lo River

DAY 9 THE DA RIVER

Day sailing upstream while admiring the unspoilt beauty of the Da River. We stop to visit K9 Ho Chi Minh Memorial House, a small museum newly opened to international visitors introducing the life of President Ho Chi Minh and his contributions to the country’s revolution. We moor overnight mid-river alongside Ba Vi National Park with its rich and diverse tropical and sub-tropical flora and fauna.

More about Duong Lam
The Da River
The Da River

DAY 10 HOA BINH

Hoa Binh was the site of a major battle with the French in 1951 & 1952 and is home to the Muong ethnic group.

The Hoa Binh Dam at the Black River is the largest hydroelectric dam in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Take a morning boat ride on the reservoir of Hoa Binh and explore the inner workings of the power station. In the afternoon, visit a museum and local village where villagers still wear traditional dress before being treated to a traditional performance by local hill tribe people.

More about Hoa Binh

DAY 11 HOA BINH

Disembark after breakfast (08.30am) and transfer to Hanoi. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant, followed by a transfer to Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport or your central Hanoi hotel.

More about Hoa Binh
Hoa Binh
Hoa Binh

DAY 1 HALONG BAY

Transfer from Hanoi to Halong Bay to embark your Pandaw ship followed by lunch on board. Cast off in the afternoon with a welcome cocktail for an evening sail, dropping anchor in a sheltered bay amidst the beautiful island scenery.

More about Halong Bay

DAY 2 HALONG BAY

Morning sail around Halong Bay and beyond with its 1,500 dramatic limestone islands and extraordinary rock formations, dating back 20 million years.

We make a stop at Viet Hai Village and continue our journey by mountain bike or electric buggy to visit the village’s vegetable farm and typical village houses. It is a breathtaking trip along a small road winding its way through the limestone rocks.

In the afternoon we will continue cruising towards Lan Ha Bay for a visit to a floating fishing house.

Weather dependent, we will end the day with cocktails at a beautiful beach in Halong Bay.

More about Halong Bay
Halong Bay
Halong Bay

DAY 3 HALONG BAY

Our exploration of Halong Bay continues and we stop at the so called “Dark and Bright Cave”. Take a kayak or a local basket boat rowed by fishermen and enter this remarkable cave into an enclosed area similar to a crater. Bats can be heard in the cave and massive stalagmites hang from the ceiling.

In the afternoon, we leave Halong Bay and are enter the river where we drop anchor near Hai Phong.

More about Halong Bay

DAY 4 THE KINH THAY RIVER

Observe the lively and interesting life of the Kinh Thay river, a key commercial waterway.

In the afternoon we visit Thanh Ha Commune, considered the origin of water puppetry in Vietnam. After a stroll or bicycle through the quaint village, we enjoy a private water puppet show set under shade by a beautiful pond of lotus and lilies, as it has been enjoyed for centuries.

We continue cruising until late evening and drop anchor midstream.

The Kinh Thay River
The Kinh Thay River

DAY 5 DAY RIVER

We sail along the Lower Red River and Day River this morning whilst getting more acquainted with your expedition vessel as you enjoy a ship tour. After lunch onboard we head ashore to Co Chat village, Nam Dinh. Here we visit local craftspeople making silk by hand and the local markets filled with exotic produce.

DAY 6 KHANH THIEN VILLAGE

We continue our exploration of the Red River Delta today, sailing toward Ninh Binh before mooring at Khanh Thien Village. We disembark in the morning for a journey to Phat Diem, home to Phat Diem Cathedral, a 19th-century Roman Catholic church built in an eclectic blend of Vietnamese and European architectural styles. After lunch we explore Khanh Thien Village itself, a cultural hub where a host of handicrafts including water hyacinth weaving and rice paper are produced. We end the evening with a performance by the locals of ‘Chau Van’ singing, an ancient art form local to this area.

Khanh Thien Village
Khanh Thien Village

DAY 7 NINH BINH

Discover ‘Halong on Land’ today as we visit Ninh Binh and take small bamboo rowing boats through the magnificent limestone caves. Visitors in September and October or April and May will witness the valleys shine golden as the rice fields prepare for harvest. We then return to our ship and sail upstream on the Red River towards Hanoi.

DAY 8 HANOI

Dropped anchor in the bustling city of Hanoi, passengers will visit some highlights of this Asian metropolis including must see’s like the notorious Vietnam war prison known as the Hanoi Hilton, temple of literature where Confucius did his thinking and the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. In the afternoon we take a walking tour of Hanoi old quarter, a bustling maze of food and shopping that is an assault on the senses. We visit a coffee shop to learn about Vietnam’s famous coffee making industry and try a Vietnamese coffee.

Hanoi
Hanoi

DAY 9 HANOI

This morning we visit Bat Trang ceramic village, a hub of ceramic production for generations. The ceramics made here are famous throughout Vietnam and adorn many homes both north and south. Before returning to the ship, a local dance troupe will treat us to a lion dance on the pier. This colourful and energetic dance is customary during festivals throughout Vietnam, most notably during Tet. We then set sail into the lesser visited upper Red River beyond Hanoi and step ashore to visit the Thay and Tay Phuong Pagodas. Hardly known, yet with exquisite temples dating from the 8th and 11th century and home to some fine Buddhist statuary carved from jackfruit trees.

DAY 10 THE UPPER RED RIVER

In the morning we go ashore to visit the UNESCO praised village of Duang Lam. This ancient village is a well preserved example of a traditional Vietnamese village from centuries ago with intricate architecture and fascinating culture. In the afternoon, visit the carpenter and smith village of Ly Nhan to witness yet more expert craftspeople of the Red River Delta carrying on the traditional methods. We then sail upstream for your farewell dinner onboard.

The Upper Red River
The Upper Red River

DAY 11 VIET TRI

Disembark after breakfast and enjoy a morning excursion en route to Hanoi. We visit Hung Lo Temple and enjoy traditional folk music before continuing to the village of Tien Du where the ‘Non La’ conical hats, now so synonymous with Vietnam, are produced. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant followed by a transfer to Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport or Hanoi City.

WHATS INCLUDED

Cruise Price Includes: Entrance fees, guide services (English language), gratuities to crew, main meals, local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes. Transfers between ports of embarkation and Hanoi International Airport at the start and end of the voyage.

Cruise Price Excludes: International flights, port dues (if levied), laundry, all visa costs, fuel surcharges (see terms and conditions), all beverages except local mineral water, jugged coffee, teas & tisanes and tips to tour guides, local guides, bus drivers, boat operators and cyclo drivers.

TRANSFERS & JOINING

DAY 1 HALONG BAY

TRANSFER FROM HANOI AIRPORT
We pick you up at Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport. Last departure is no later than 10:30 (Unless there are any delays with your flight). A Pandaw representative will be waiting for you with a Pandaw Sign at column No12. On the right hand sided of the international arrival exit. Arrival in Halong Bay at 12.00.

If you encounter any difficulties, please contact our emergency number of Vietnam +84 936 903 168.

Please note: Guides and drivers are not allowed inside the terminal building. We will be waiting for you outside with a Pandaw sign. Hanoi Airport has two exits; if you don’t see us, please try the other exit on the same level (30 meters).

TRANSFER FROM HANOI CITY
Meeting point for embarkation in Hanoi will be the Pan Pacific Hotel (1 Thanh Nien Road, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi 10000, Vietnam) and registration will be at 09:00am in reception. Please ensure you are checked out and ready in reception on time, departure 09:30am.

For those not staying at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Pandaw will arrange a taxi from your hotel in central Hanoi to the meeting point. We will arrange with your hotel reception and inform of exact time the evening before, typically pick up will be between 08:00 and 08:30am. Surcharges apply for hotels outside of Hoan Kiem District or Hanoi Old Quarter.

PRIVATE ARRIVAL AT HA LONG BAY
For passengers already in Ha Long Bay on the night before, please come to Tuan Chau International Jetty. Embarkation time will be between 12:00 and 13:00.

DAY 11 HOA BINH

After lunch at local restaurant depart for Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport and central Hanoi hotels. Estimated arrival at Hanoi Airport at 15:15, hotels in Hanoi arriving 16:00. Your flight out of Hanoi airport must be after 16:30 (domestic) or 17:30 (international).

DAY 1 HALONG BAY

TRANSFER FROM HANOI AIRPORT
We pick you up at Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport. Last departure is no later than 10:30 (Unless there are any delays with your flight). A Pandaw representative will be waiting for you with a Pandaw Sign at column No12. On the right hand sided of the international arrival exit. Arrival in Halong Bay at 12.00.

If you encounter any difficulties, please contact our emergency number of Vietnam +84 936 903 168.

Please note: Guides and drivers are not allowed inside the terminal building. We will be waiting for you outside with a Pandaw sign. Hanoi Airport has two exits; if you don’t see us, please try the other exit on the same level (30 meters).

TRANSFER FROM HANOI CITY
Meeting point for embarkation in Hanoi will be the Pan Pacific Hotel (1 Thanh Nien Road, Ba Dinh Dist., Hanoi 10000, Vietnam) and registration will be at 09:00am in reception. Please ensure you are checked out and ready in reception on time, departure 09:30am.

For those not staying at the Pan Pacific Hotel, Pandaw will arrange a taxi from your hotel in central Hanoi to the meeting point. We will arrange with your hotel reception and inform of exact time the evening before, typically pick up will be between 08:00 and 08:30am. Surcharges apply for hotels outside of Hoan Kiem District or Hanoi Old Quarter.

PRIVATE ARRIVAL AT HA LONG BAY
For passengers already in Ha Long Bay on the night before, please come to Tuan Chau International Jetty. Embarkation time will be between 12:00 to 13:00.

DAY 11 VIET TRI

After lunch at local restaurant departure for Hanoi Noi Bai International Airport and Hanoi hotels. Estimated arrival at Hanoi Airport at 14:45, hotels in Hanoi arriving 15:30. Your flight out of Hanoi airport must be after 16.00pm (domestic) or 17.00pm (international).

VISA INFORMATION

Please visit http://cibtvisas.co.uk for further VISA information.

TESTIMONIALS

This was the most amazing immersion in Vietnamese history, culture, cuisine and lifestyle - posted by Glenice and Ian Warner

By far the most enjoyable and educational of my prior three trips with Pandaw, yet they had been excellent too - posted by Tom Herzfeld

Sailing with Pandaw was everything we hoped it would be, and more - posted by Janice and Greg McDougall

We really loved everything about this cruise and will continue to travel with Pandaw in the future - posted by Stephen Winter

Thank you Pandaw for a wonderful trip - posted by James and Hilary Alton

The Red River - Up Close and Personal - posted by Lucy Allison

I have cruised with Pandaw many times but the food served on this cruise was exceptional - posted by Julie Wheeler

Thanks for another great cruise/holiday with the Pandaw Family - posted by Narelle Richards and Martin Peelgrane

Our Captain and crew did a fantastic job in some trying conditions, Halong Bay was stunning to see - posted by Trevor and Gail Harvey

Well, what a trip - the Angkor Pandaw ship is a treat to travel on - posted by Bruce and Carmen McVicar

It felt like we were among friends rather than staff just doing their job - posted by Maureen Raywood and Susan Norris

The crew of RV Angkor Pandaw, are amazing and are to be congratulated - posted by Meredith Wise and Stephanie Mooney

The excursions, the surprise treats, the variety of experience, and the comforts aboard were all ideal for us - posted by Carolyn and Craig

Wendy Evans, dedicated Pandaw fan and traveler - posted by Wendy Evans

Thank you Pandaw for showing us such fascinating parts of the world - posted by Sandra and John Scott

I can without doubt recommend this cruise to anyone contemplating it and we will do another in the near future - posted by Jon Human

The ship and the crew were excellent. We enjoy all very much. - posted by Gerhard Ohly

I know, this sounds exaggerated, but I tell you I'm still absolutely thrilled! - posted by Emmy Frei-Werlen

The boat is of the highest standard, and the crew were there to make sure we had everything we needed - posted by Helena Tenne

Pandaw never fails to impress - posted by Trevor and Jan Greenwood

Always something to see and do, and so relaxing! - posted by Lex Lees, Australia

I really can't express how superb it was - posted by Jarvis & Gillian Ranson

Review on trip advisor - posted by Chris B

A selection of some of the world's greatest travel experiences - posted by Douglas Shachnow

This was our second trip with Pandaw, and we would certainly consider another - posted by Donald Huse

We loved every bit of the trip - posted by Heather Foster & Chris Currey

We have been frequent travellers all our life, but this travel was really a highlight - posted by Sarah & Pablo Rosenthal-Almirall,

Had a great trip. Crew of ship and local guide Vu all excellent - posted by Maree O'Born

TRAVEL BLOGS

Encounters with the local children of Northern Vietnam

Pandaw Blog Compeition 2023 - 3d Prize Winner ENCOUNTERS WITH THE LOCAL CHILDREN OF NORTHERN VIETNAM submitted by Jenny Dawson It’s New .... read more

 

Hanoi Hilton

The Hanoi Hilton was a prison in Hanoi , Vietnam that was used during the Vietnam War to house American prisoners of war, mainly downed pilot.... read more

 

Confucius & the Temple of Literature

One of the spectacular sites to visit in Hanoi on our Halong Bay & Red River Cruises is the Temple of Literature or Van Mieu. Originally built i.... read more

 

The Ethnography of North Vietnam

The Red River delta to the north of Vietnam is highly populated, with over 17 million inhabitants sharing 15, 000 sq km (5, 800 sq miles) of spa.... read more

 

Remembering Hoa Binh - Heaven and hell in a Vietnamese river town

Pandaw’s highly popular 10-day Halong Bay and Red River expedition is not specifically designed for the Vietnam War buff, who will find ple.... read more

 

Pandaw's Vietnam Cruise Is Unlike Any Other

Click Here to read travel writer Sandra Scott's testimonial blog of her Halong Bay and the Red River cruise on the 18th March 2017 on-board the .... read more

 

Halong Bay and the Red River - Filming of the Pandaw Production

Blog by Spencer Butt, Pandaw IT Manager, filmed together with David Lumsden, Pandaw Art Department. Firstly, I must thank all of our guests.... read more

 

Lion-ised in Hanoi: Pandaw passengers get the warmest of Vietnamese welcomes

It's often hard to tell Pandaw passengers' photos of their experience from those of the professionals paid to provide glossy images for promotio.... read more

 

MEDIA MENTIONS

The 30 best river cruises for 2021 and beyond

16 Mar 2021 - article by Sara Macefield for The Telegraph

 

Voyage along Vietnam's Red River

08 Sep 2018 - article by Lee Beaumann for The Times

 

Pioneering Northern Vietnam’s Red River on an Old-world Beauty

27 Aug 2018 - article by Theresa Storm for Waypoints Global

 

Cruising Vietnam's Red River

23 Aug 2018 - article by Tiana Templeman for the New Zealand Herald

 

12 Reasons to do a Vietnam Red River Cruise with Pandaw

06 Jul 2018 - article by Heidi Sarna for QurikyCruise.com

 

Intimate Vietnam Vibes

28 Jun 2018 - article by author Heidi Sarna, co-founder of QuirkyCruise.com

 

Live From Angkor Pandaw: Cruising Vietnam's Red River

06 Mar 2018 - article by Laura Bly, Cruise Critic contributor

 

Vietnam’s Red River

13 Mar 2017 - article by Jane Archer for World of Cruising

 

Northern cruising: A journey up Vietnam's Red River

24 Oct 2016 - article by Colin Hinshelwood for CNN Travel

 

Vietnam River Cruise | Red River Dreaming

04 May 2016 - article by Maria Visconti for Travel2next

 

Cruise along Vietnam's Red River Delta

01 Jan 2016 - article by Claire Boobbyer for the Independent UK